• childbirth method;
  • grounded theory;
  • Iranian Kurdish women;
  • pregnancy

shahoei r., Mohd Riji H. & saeedi z.a. (2011) ‘Safe passage’: pregnant Iranian Kurdish women’s choice of childbirth method. Journal of Advanced Nursing 67(9), 2130–2138.


Aim.  This article is a report of a grounded theory study of the influence of emotions on women’s selection of a method of childbirth.

Background.  There is substantial evidence to indicate that a pregnant woman’s emotions play an important role in the decision-making process of selecting a child delivery method. Despite this, however, there is a notable lack of research about the relationship between pregnant women’s emotions and their choice of a childbirth method in developing countries.

Methods.  A qualitative study using the grounded theory approach was conducted. The data were collected from 22 Iranian Kurdish pregnant women in their third trimester using semi-structured interviews. Concurrent data collection and analysis took place between 2008 and 2009. A cumulative process of theoretical sampling and constant comparison was used to identify concepts and then expand, validate, and clarify them.

Findings.  The substantive grounded theory that was identified from data analysis was ‘safe passage’. ‘Safe passage’ involved five phases that were not mutually exclusive in their occurrence. The five phases of the ‘safe passage’ theory that were identified from the data analysis were: ‘safety of baby’, ‘fear’, ‘previous experience’, ‘social support’ and ‘faith’. The goal of ‘safe passage’ was to achieve a healthy delivery and to ensure the health of the newborn.

Conclusion.  ‘Safe passage’ was a process used to determine how the emotions of pregnant Iranian Kurdish women influenced their choice of the mode of child delivery. More research is needed in this field to develop a body of knowledge beneficial to midwifery education and practice.